Matcha Green Tea Smoothie

helpme imsore

Pretty much sums up how I’m feeling right now.

Good morning, darlings! I am literally so sore from my intense workout yesterday, and on top of that went to Sarah’s boot camp this morning, which she deemed “not so intense” while R and I gave her the side eye. Even after having a special moment with my foam roller last night (also giving me an excuse to vacuum the living room rug), my legs are still wicked sore. When your workouts include doing anything “to failure” (in this case it was shoulder press and burpees – and let’s hope it doesn’t snow a lot because these shoulds won’t be lifting much in the next few days) it’s pretty intense, at least in my opinion. πŸ˜‰ However, it felt GREAT (as per usual, I feel like Queen of the Bros after any of Sarah’s classes). I’ve been going to these fitness classes for almost two years, but have really amped my game up over the past year or so and it’s incredible to think of how far I’ve come. I couldn’t hold a plank for a minute when I first started, and I would quit halfway through our HIIT cardio drills. Now I think of how strong I’ve become, and I’m not ashamed to admit I’m really proud of myself! I really wish I was more of a douche bag and snapped more gym selfies in the past, because I would love to show you guys a “gun-show” comparison (don’t worry though, my bro-y douchiness starts now because I was feelin’ myself so much this morning I cracked and posted one on Insty – don’t judge me too hard! Haha!). πŸ™‚ πŸ˜› I am really proud of all of my hard work, though.

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Which way to the gym, bro? I am feelin’ super strong today! Woo!

WB-4

Britney knows.

Anyway, the actual reason for this post is not to make my arm sore from patting myself on the back, but to share with you an AMAZING matcha smoothie creation that is the perfect post-workout treat (or just anytime treat – I often make myself smoothies for dessert if I’m concerned about how much protein I’ve ingested that day/I just want one). Ever since I picked up some matcha, I’ve been heming and hawing on what to do with it, and I came up with this simple, fresh and delicious green tea protein smoothie. No lie – it tastes exactly like green tea ice cream! Yum.

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The ingredients for L’s Matcha Green Tea Smoothie: banana, protein, matcha, almond milk & ice. So simple.

Matcha Green Tea Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp matcha
  • 1 1/2 bananas
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder*
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • a handful of ice cubes

Directions

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy! πŸ˜€

*Side note: Vega (my new fave vegan protein powder) makes their protein powder in a box of 10 individually sealed single-serve packets. It’s a great way to try out a new flavor. Instead of being stuck with a 1 lb tub of protein, you can sample it – or if you don’t like it, give it away. Plus it’s packable for travel! Woohoo! It’s a win-win.

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L’s Matcha Green Tea Smoothie – YUMMMM.

It’s always fun to try out new protein smoothie creations. The matcha is great flavor change up from the usual suspects (fruit, spices, etc). It was very refreshing and light, but still tasted creamy and dessert-worthy.Β Delicious! I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did. πŸ™‚

Also, in unrelated yet very exciting news: Bubbles and Booyah will be participating in Spring Break V!! In the words of my darling blog friend Aileen at Morsels and Moonshine, “Spring Break V is a collaborative project that is designed to showcase the best vegan blogs for spring break.” Woohooo! It starts March 22, 2015 and rages on for a full week until March 28, 2015, in which M&M will do features on posts from participating blogs on veganism and spring break. Get pumped – this is sure to be fun, and I am super stoked to be a part of it. πŸ˜€

spring breakI hope you guys all have a great day today – sending you lots of love! ❀

With warmth,

L

xoxox

Green Citrus Smoothie

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Good morning!! Happy Hump Day – we all made it halfway through the week! As some of you know, I will be traveling to Florida in only two days time and I couldn’t be more excited. Since I am obviously a mermaid (*hair flip*), you can understand why my return to the Gulf is so exciting. πŸ˜‰ This week (my first week of Veganuary!), I did something out of the ordinary – I bought oranges at the grocery store! Probably the only food that weirds me out (beyond the creepy mushrooms my sister sometimes buys) is PULP. I don’t love it. If I am faced with eating an orange, I will “vampire” the juice (a la Bill and Sookie) and spit out the languid, pulpy wedge (so ladylike, I know). Oddly enough, I LOVE citrus juice. For years, my cocktail of choice was a screwdriver (and I have all the abandoned Nalges with a faint odor of orange juice and vodka, that no amount of dishwashing will remove, to prove it. Hey, when you’re a girl who doesn’t like beer, you’ve gotta be resourceful). I dislike pulp so much that I would rather give a mimosa the side eye than drink it, if it is made with pulpy orange juice (why would someone do something that unspeakably cruel to me, I do not know. I loooooove mimosas!).

So now that we’ve established the depths of my hatred for pulp, you can understand how surprising it is that I would pick up a few oranges at the grocery store. I decided it was high time for me to overcome this aversion and hostility – one baby step at a time. I figured I can start off slow, by blending them into my favorite thing on Earth: smoothies. We all love smoothies, they are clearly the best. By now, you may know that I have a little bit of a problem with smoothies (and all of the many varieties). To create this particular smoothie, I blended the orange together with three things I really like: baby spinach, unsweetened vanilla coconut milk and cinnamon. It sounds like an unlikely combination, I know, but it was AMAZING. The coconut milk gives a smooth creaminess, the baby spinach is very mild and the orange gives a gorgeous pop and brightness to the smoothie. The cinnamon, of course, is the little spice that could – it makes everything better, and here it lends a little spicy kick. This smoothie was just what I needed – healthy, full of nutrients and flavor, and the orange makes you dream of sunshine and sand under your toes, even when it’s 15 degrees outside. It’s so simple, and it’s vegan, gluten-free and DELICIOUS!

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The five simple ingredients you need for L’s Green Citrus Smoothie: Spinach, oranges, cinnamon, unsweetened vanilla coconut milk and dates (optional – if you need a little extra sweetness).

Green Citrus Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 orange*, peeled
  • handful of baby spinach (~3/4 cup)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Β Directions

  • Add all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth. Enjoy! πŸ˜€
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All of the “dry” ingredients in the NutriBullet before blending. I stuffed as much baby spinach as possible in there.

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The amount of cinnamon I added for reference. I never really measure this, but guesstimate – I loooooove cinnamon, so I would add whatever suits your tastes.

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I added quite a bit of unsweetened vanilla coconut milk, probably more than half a cup. Adjust the amount depending on whether you like your smoothies thick or more juice-like – totally up to you! πŸ™‚

*I used Cara Cara oranges. They are a red-fleshed navel orange, sweet and low in acid with a flavor profile more complex than regular navels. Wikipedia says they “[have] been described as evoking notes of cherry, rose petal, orange, and blackberry.” Oooookay, Wikipedia, whatever you say – all I know is they are DELICIOUS, and so sweet that I didn’t need any additional sweetener. If you chose a different variety and your smoothie comes out a little bitter, throw one or two dates in there. That should sweeten it right up for ya. πŸ™‚

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The smoothie after blending πŸ™‚

Um, this smoothie is amazing. It’s so easy and probably takes 30 seconds to make once you peel the orange (and then your hands will smell lovely and orange-y for a bit). The flavor impact is unreal; when I blended it and had my first sip I actually said, “Wow!” aloud in my kitchen even though it was just me and the Nutribullet. The best part? You’ve fulfilled your Vitamin C requirements for the day, half of your Vitamin A, a quarter of your potassium and a third of your dietary fiber. Rock on. It’s fresh and deceptively filling – a great snack, breakfast smoothie or just for a special, fresh treat. Yum.

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Pour that sucker into a mason jar, stick a girthy straw in there and you’ve got yourself a winner. πŸ˜€

I hope that you guys enjoy this creation as much as I did – it is amazing (and if you close your eyes, you might just feel the sun beaming down on you, in the middle of January).

Sending you lots of sunshine today! Happy Wednesday! πŸ˜€

With warmth,

L ❀

PS: I went for a run last night in 18F and snow showers. It was fabulous (dead serious – I actually had a great run!). I recently got a bunch of run accessories to increase my nighttime visibility (both my friend and my bro-in-law called out my all black Ginga Ninja non-reflective winter run gear, and they were totally right – visibility is key in the winter!). If you’re interested, they will be making an appearance in my Friday Faves post. πŸ˜‰

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Rocking my sweet new gear. Also, my nails match my run pullover bc I’m cool like that. Happy Hump Day, all! πŸ˜€

How to Fix a Sh*tty Smoothie

PicFrameSometimes, even with our best intentions and springboard from which to start, our best-foot-forward effort ends up in an undesirable mess. Such as it goes with life, and with smoothies. I recently sent my bff B a step-by-step dissertation of how to fix a sh*tty smoothie via iMessage (emojis and all). It all started because I wanted to try a new vegan protein powder. I usually use whey to prot-ify my smoothies, but the guts can’t hack whey powder AND a Greek yogurt in the same day (no bueno). So I turned to my friend Amazon Prime (since I have no time to go peruse a natural foods store during my lunch break, when I would rather just eat my lunch) and checked out their vegan protein powder selection. Wow! I was impressed. Unsurprisingly, they literally have EVERYTHING. Amazon, you’re killing it! The Amazon reviewers however: you are in the doghouse for leading me astray (“Great tasting and it blends well!” and “I have tried several other protein powders and this is the best one by far.” —> Um, no. You cray!). I had three criteria for the vegan protein powder when I was ordering: a) is not ridiculously expensive; b) does not come in anything larger than 1 lb in case I hate it and c) reviewers gave it 4 stars or higher. I chose two brands, one was phenomenal (which I posted about in the Vegan Pumpkin Protein Power Muffins) and the other one was BAD. Like, really bad. Chalky, no vanilla flavor (instead a very unappealing flavor in its place), bleh – literally wanted to spit my smoothie out. It was that bad. Like a lot of my peers (that’s you guys!), my grandparents grew up during the Depression so wasting food is a major sin in my household. Unless it’s literally rancid, it’s going to get eaten and not wasted. Thus, Operation Smoothie Saving was in order.

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The start of the smoothie fail. Before I even knew just how bad it was.

To start, the following ingredients were in my smoothie:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup of frozen mixed berries
  • 1/4 cup of pureed pumpkin
  • 1 scoop of the evil vegan vanilla protein powder
  • A few shakes of cinnamon
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Flax seeds

(Pretty legit start, right?? You would think that this smoothie would be awesome, since I’ve posted my love for this combination previously, and generally speaking, it f**king rocks. But you would be wrong. The chalkiness of the protein powder overwhelmed all the other flavors. BIG womp).

Operation Smoothie Saving to the rescue!

Step One: Add spice. I already had cinnamon in there, so I added even more cinnamon, as well as cloves and nutmeg. I then re-blended the smoothie.

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This is the “beginning” smoothie phot. I added even MORE cinnamon, plus cloves and nutmeg. Still – awful.

Result: I can still taste that f-ed up protein powder! Whaaaat.

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You think this would be amaze-balls, right? Wrong. It was horrendous.

Step Two: Time to bring out the big guns. Add Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder AND cayenne pepper. Throw in a few chunks of crystallized ginger (I had no fresh, but fresh ginger root would be even better!) – because, why not. At this point, it can’t get any worse.

photo 4Result: Much better. Aaaaah, smoothie nirvana achieved. πŸ˜€

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Lucky for us, dark chocolate cocoa powder, cayenne and ginger are a fantastic combo. And, if enough is added, they completely and utterly negate any sh*tty vegan protein powder aftertaste. Praise the powers that be!

So, life lesson of the day. Do not give up on your sh*tty smoothie. Fight to the bitter end.

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Top that puppy with some cinnamon and call it a day. Operation Smoothie Saving = success! πŸ˜€ After all the additions, this smoothie ended up being MAJ.

With that, it’s ALMOST Friday! Wooohooo! I hope you all are smiling today. ❀

xoxox

L

PS: Mom, I know I’m killing you with all the swears right now, but I can’t help it. Blame Dad. πŸ˜›

Vegan Pumpkin Protein Power Muffins

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Try not to lick your screen: Vegan Pumpkin Protein Power Muffins. πŸ˜›

As promised, I spent some serious time this weekend in L’s Test Kitchen and perfected a vegan version of the Pumpkin Protein Power Muffins I posted last week. So, for my vegan peeps waiting with bated breath for the vegan version – your wait is no longer! (Insert jump for joy). I actually think this version is BETTER (if that’s even possible) than the non-vegan version. It’s just as simple too, woohoo!

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Ingredients for Vegan Pumpkin Protein Power Muffins: cocoa nibs (mine didn’t come in time from Amazon, so I used the same chocolate chips as in the previous recipe – just pretend they are nibs), vanilla extract, vegan vanilla protein powder, applesauce, pumpkin, pecans, coconut flour, rolled oats, flax/chia blend for egg substitutes, pumpkin spice and maple syrup. All that’s missing is the diced apple, and you’re good to go!

Vegan Pumpkin Protein Power Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 can pumpkin (16 oz)
  • 1 cup diced apple (about 1 regular sized apple)
  • Milled flax seed egg substitute (x 2)*
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao nibs
  • 1/2 cup diced pecans
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (Or whatever kind of flour you like/have)
  • 1 cup applesauce (~the amount in two single-serve applesauce cups)
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I used Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein in Vanilla)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

*For Milled Flax Seed egg substitute (per one egg): Mix 1 heaping Tbsp flax seed meal (or milled flax seed – it’s the same thing) with 3 Tbsp of warm water. Stir, and allow to sit while you combine all the remaining ingredients so it can “set” up. This also works with chia seeds, and I’ve used it with a pretty dope Milled Flax and chia store-bought mixture as well.

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350Β°F. Make two Milled Flax Seed egg substitutes and set aside.
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I put each of my egg substitute mixtures in their own separate small bowls so they can “set up”. To make each substitute, add 1 heaping tablespoon of milled flax into the bowl, and add 3 tablespoons of water.

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Once the warm water has been added, stir the milled flax well and allow to sit for a few minutes before adding to the batter.

Step 2: Throw all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
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Add all of your ingredients into a large mixing bowl while you’re waiting for your flax seed egg subs to “set up” just right.

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Once you’ve gotten all your ingredients prepped and into the bowl, add the flax seed mixture.

Step 3: Mix all of the ingredients until all of the dry ingredients are wetted and well incorporated into the batter.
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Stir well to incorporate all the ingredients. If you batter looks a little dry, you can add a little extra applesauce or a little extra warm water – either will do the trick.

Step 4: Distribute evenly into a greased muffin tin (or use a liner). This time, I just used plain paper liners and they worked just fine.
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When forming the muffins in the muffin tin, I used a large spoon to scoop batter directly into the liners. Then, I used my fingers to press the batter down into the liner to fill it out completely. These muffins are dense, and don’t puff up as much. You’ll want to press down firm and pack them into the liner to remove any existing air bubbles and voids.

Step 5: Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
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This recipe made a solid baker’s dozen of muffins. Yum, yum!

Step 6: Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Makes approximately a dozen muffins. Enjoy!! πŸ˜€
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Once baked, the tops of the muffins should be a golden brown and a little crispy. Make sure that they are cooked all the way through or they will be mushy on the inside, and nobody wants that.

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Wait for your muffins to cool 10 minutes before enjoying! πŸ™‚

These little guys feel like a very decadent and rich dessert, but are packed with protein and fiber to keep you full. They are perfectly sized for snacking, a quick breakfast, or a great after workout (or pre-run) snack. I currently have two in a ziploc baggie in my purse for on-the-go snacking (don’t tell anyone, because these are too good to share). πŸ˜‰

I really found this vegan version to be even tastier than the vegetarian version I posted. They are a little crumblier, but they are still super moist and delicious. YUM! Grab one of these with a Chai tea, or a latte and you’ve got yourself the perfect afternoon treat. Enjoy! πŸ˜€

Hope you are all having a fantastic Tuesday, wherever you may be! πŸ™‚ ❀

xoxox

L

Pumpkin Protein Power Muffins

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Delicious and deceivingly decadent Pumpkin Protein Power Muffins.

I’ve got the POWER!! 90’s dance music anyone (Snap! C’mon…)?? These muffins combine a few of my favorite things: pumpkin, pecans, apple, dark chocolate and protein (I’m a not-so-secret Bro, you gotta build those muscles!). They are a great grab on-the-go snack if you want something delicious, a little decadent and full of nutrients. Hell, I even threw one of those suckers in my gym bag to bring for my gym buddy R after KILLING IT at boot camp this morning. She’s my #1 taste tester. She said, and I quote (from her text): “Muffin = So. Good. Moist, perfect amount of chocolate chips. Love the apple crunch with the pumpkin flavor. Could eat 10.” You heard it here first, people. I personally devoured one this morning standing outside in the balmy 34 degree sunshine at the gas station while being observed by the morning commuters. I guess I was due for a “woke up on the wrong side of the bed” morning (first, the low tire pressure light goes on, closely followed by my gas light in my car) and I got to take a nice 50 minute detour on my way to work to address those issues. Ugh. We all have these days, I guess (deep breathing, deeeeep breathinggg)…

But these MUFFINS. Dude, these are delicious – healthy, vegetarian AND dairy/soy/gluten-free (they can also be made vegan, which will be featured as another post after they are perfected in L’s Test Kitchen)!! And the best part is, as with many of the recipes I share, they are tailorable to your personal taste. Pecans not your thing? Use almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts – whatev. Not a huge fan of dark chocolate (um…who ARE you?) –Β  I suppose you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate – whatever your jam is. Use your favorite kind of apple, or pear – or persimmon! Get creative. It’s fun, I promise. Here’s what I made last night:

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Ingredients for the muffins: pecans, chocolate chips, apple sauce, maple syrup, eggs, coconut flour, pumpkin, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, apple, and oats. Add whatever vanilla protein powder you like (I bet chocolate would be pretty baller too, if that’s all you have).

Pumpkin Protein Power Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 can pumpkin (16 oz)
  • 1 cup diced apple (about 1 regular sized apple)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup diced pecans
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (Or whatever kind of flour you like/have)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (~the amount in a single-serve applesauce cup)
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (If you’re going for dairy-free, obv do not use whey or casein)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup (Dude, don’t use the fake kind. If you don’t have the real deal, use honey.)
  • 1-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350Β°F. Throw all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
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I left the skin on my apple and chopped it into smaller-than-bite-sized pieces.

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Add all your ingredients at once into the mixing bowl – order does not matter – you can go complete freestyle! πŸ™‚

Step 2: Mix all of the ingredients until all of the dry ingredients are wetted and well incorporated into the batter.
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Give it a good stir to make sure all of those chocolate chips/pecan pieces/diced apple pieces are evenly distributed. I know everyone wants the one muffin that is 40% chocolate chips but you can’t always get what you want. Singing the Rolling Stones while mixing is highly encouraged πŸ˜‰

Step 3: Distribute evenly into a greased muffin tin (or use a liner). I was concerned about getting the muffins out easily so I spritzed my paper muffin liners with baking Pam (which was completely unnecessary and probably not the healthiest option, but hey. We do what we can over here).
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I used a spoon to help scoop the batter mixture into the muffin liners. You can also use an ice cream scoop! πŸ™‚

Step 4: Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
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These muffins pictured above are not done yet; I really, REALLY wanted them to be done but they just weren’t. Patience is a virtue (that I do not have) but make sure you wait until the toothpick comes out clean, otherwise they will be kinda mushy if they aren’t cooked through.

Step 5: Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Makes approximately a dozen muffins. Enjoy!! πŸ˜€
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DONE! Allow to cool for 10 minutes πŸ™‚ They should be a nice golden brown color, and firm on top. Also, totally ignore that one missing muffin from the muffin tin – I just couldn’t wait any longer after smelling them bake for half an hour!

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Yessssssssss. These are soooo goood!! Store in an airtight container to keep them fresh and delicious.

When I told R that I was featuring her taste-test “review” in my post today, she said, “Lolz love it. It feels like a very unhealthy treat post-workout, but it isn’t really.” True story, R! These muffins are delicious, feel like a special treat but are packed with protein and fiber. YUM! And they brought a lot of brightness to my morning, as I stood outside in the chilly Boston air mentally preparing (/defrosting my fingers to unscrew the cap) to fill my tires with air, not loving life. I might have been freezing my butt off, but I still took a moment to appreciate the “Mmm! These are so GOOD!”. I really hope you enjoy these as much as I did! Yum!!

I hope you guys are having a better morning/day than I started out with! Enjoy!! πŸ˜€

xoxo

L

PS: Taste tester #2 K said, “Your pumpkin protein muffins are the boooommmbbbb!!!!” Just thought you should know. πŸ˜‰

PPS: It’s almost Friday! And the Bills are playing! Yes, and yes!! πŸ˜€ Everyone have a good one.

Basic B*tch Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

photo 1Between gallivanting around Colorado two-ish weeks ago, and being a stand-in instructor for boot camp on Tuesday, I was due for a good ass kicking to get back into the training game for my upcoming half (Ok, I mean it’s upcoming in February, but I don’t want to lose my momentum now!). Well, my trainer was back from her much-deserved vacation and yesterday my ass was sufficiently kicked by the TRX band rows/T,Y,I workout, box jumps, sit-ups, and sled push (I pushed 108% of my body weight! Hollaaaaa!) – just to name a few. And then again this morning (some highlights include: lots of push-ups in different forms, and the love child of my two fave cardio exercises: box jump burpees). Needless to say, I am feeling the sores today. My foam roller and I have a hot date tooooonighttt, ow owwww!! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

In the spirit of training, I am ready to get my head in the game. And as a vegetarian, it’s imperative that I get enough prots per day to build up those muscles (without going overboard, and drinking plenty of water so I don’t get those weird protein kidney stones – I can already hear my nutritionist prof sister Dr. J bossing informing me of the proper intake requirements). What to do? Well, I bought 10 lbs of whey protein* on Amazon prime (double chocolate and vanilla) and am going to start making some crazy smoothie creations! I’ve really been feeling the fall, and the orange foods so I figured – what the hell? I’ll try to make a smoothie that tastes like pumpkin pie. Why not.

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Ingredients: Vanilla protein powder*, pureed pumpkin, frozen banana, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice (not pictured: almond milk).

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 3/4 cup pureed pumpkin (I think 1/2 cup would do it, that was a little excessive)
  • 2 dates (for sweetness/fiber, can substitute 1/2 Tbsp honey)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (plus a few extra shakes cinnamon and a pinch of ginger)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (either my vanilla protein kinda sucks or that was too much – I’d try 1/2 scoop)*
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
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Before and after blending.

*Fret not my vegan loves! There are TONS and TONS of vegan protein substitutions to make. A new fave is pea/hemp protein powder. πŸ˜€

Directions:

Blend until smooth. Add almond milk to achieve desired thickness. Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice on top to garnish. Wrap on an infinity scarf, take a break from your Pinterest “Quotes” board, unwrap your hands from around your pumpkin spice latte and Enjoy! πŸ˜€

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I like my smoothies pretty thick, so I only used 1/2 cup of almond milk.

I love these smoothie creations because a) they are fantastic after working out, b) they taste like a dessert and c) they are a great way to sneak a little extra protein in your diet at the end of the day. Because I work out in the morning, get ready at the gym and go straight to work, I usually reserve smoothies for weekends after working out, during the week after a long evening run, or as a dessert treat after dinner. The recipe I made up last night is not the lowest in calories (it’s around 450 calories – oooops!), to make a “lighter” version: use 1/2 banana (53 cal), 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (50 cal), skip the dates/honey, and use 1/2 scoop protein powder (~65 cal), plus the spices, vanilla and almond milk – that should get you right around 200 calories. Even the lightened up version is awesome.

photo 2photo 3This was a definitely a successful creation – I’m looking forward to tweaking it to get that pumpkin pie flavor just right. It definitely filled me up, tasted rich, creamy and decadent, and was very on trend with Autumn. Yum. I hope you guys like it just as much as I did! πŸ˜›

Have a great one, and don’t forget to drink water ❀

L